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The Insider's Scoop On Composting And Fertilizing With Tea Bags

Composting isn't just for organic farmers anymore. It's for anyone who cherishes the holistic philosophy behind the sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, composting is an inexpensive way to grow a luscious garden, full of the delicious fruits of nature. So, how popular is composting? The EPA reports that Americans recovered over 23 million tons of MSW (municipal solid waste) in 2015 through composting. That's right: composting has gone mainstream. Mention to your neighbor that you're composting and fertilizing with tea bags, and chances are, they won't even bat an eyelid.

The Remarkable History Of Organic Plant Fertilizers

Modern farmers and gardening enthusiasts aren't the first ones to use organic fertilizers. Researchers maintain that European farmers fertilized with manure more than 7,000 years ago. In fact, the famous 1st-century Roman agriculturalist, Columella, enthusiastically recommended animal dung as fertilizer. He placed pigeon dung at the top of the list of crop fertilizers and advised farmers to use it liberally. Columella believed that composting was the secret to beautiful vineyards. Today, organic gardeners use everything from food scraps to tea bags in their compost bins.

Why You Should Use Biodegradable Tea Bags

It's no secret that the English love tea. However, our tea-loving cousins weren't the first ones to invent the tea bag. That glory belongs to Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea merchant, who invented the first gauze tea sachets. Manufacturers soon turned out paper tea bags and later incorporated plastics into their making.

In 2017, Mike Armitage, a concerned UK citizen, managed to get Unilever/ PG Tips to stop using polypropylene plastic in their tea bags. His campaign had a domino effect: other tea companies followed suit.

Since plastic does not biodegrade, it's best left out of the compost heap. Non-biodegradable wastes pollute our soil, contaminate our water, and emit harmful chemicals into the air. So, it's a good idea to use only biodegradable tea bags for composting.

The Benefits of Composting Tea Bags

Essentially, tea bags can boost your crop production by increasing the nitrogen content of your soil. While many gardeners fret over the added acids, the truth is that tea leaves lose most of their acidic content during the boiling process. In fact, biodegradable tea bags have an intrinsic benefit. They can speed up the decomposition rate of other organic materials in your compost. Want to know which tea has the fastest decomposition rate? That'll be green tea, which scientists maintain has a higher decomposition rate than rooibos tea.

3 Easy Steps to Composting with Tea Bags: #3 Will Surprise You

#1 Compost by Adding to Rotting Organic Material

If you use biodegradable tea bags, composting is easy. Just throw the used tea bags into a kitchen container or bin. Once the bin is full, empty its contents into your compost pile outside. You will have to mix the tea bags into the pile, of course. Regular turning of your compost is essential because it aerates the soil. Remember that the rate of decomposition will slow without constant aeration. Also, regular turning prevents your favorite compost heap from turning into a stinking pile.

#2 Compost by Burying In Soil

Many gardeners use this easy, no-fuss way to add nutrients to the soil: they simply bury biodegradable tea bags near the root systems of plants. Avid supporters of the sustainable lifestyle especially champion its benefits.

#3 Compost with Worms

Vermicomposting is popular with many home gardeners. In fact, earthworms are a garden's best friend. Their excreted wastes, called castings, add important nutrients to the soil and are effective soil conditioners. As the worms burrow through the soil, they also increase its porosity. This facilitates drainage and minimizes topsoil erosion.

Did you know that vermicomposting can significantly increase the water-holding capacity of the soil? It's true. That said, consider throwing in your used biodegradable tea bags into the compost heap. Ideally, red earthworms, the best vermicomposting species, should already be part of the heap. As the tea bags break down, the worms will do their part by ingesting the contents. Remember to turn your compost pile with a cultivator periodically! Before long, your pile of rotting organic material will turn into beautifully aerated compost.

Composting and Fertilizing With Tea Bags The Revolution Way

Revolution Tea is ahead of the curve with its pyramid infuser, bio-mesh tea bags. The biodegradable woven fabric is encased in a compostable bio-cello over-wrap. Both are tasteless, scentless, and FDA-approved. You get delicious, fresh-tasting beverages from Revolution tea bags, and after you're done, the bags are perfect for composting. Try our ginger, mint, and green tea blends, perfect for the sustainable lifestyle you cherish!